January – June 2008 Report
We in the National Council of Churches of Kenya are honored to share with you this Progress Report for the period January - June 2008.
A key factor that influenced the work that we did during this period was the Post Election Violence that erupted on 30th December 2007 after the announcement of the winner of the presidential election.
The impact of the ensuing violence, which continued until mid-February, was felt by the entire nation. More than a thousand people were killed, nearly half a million were displaced from their homes, and properties worth billions of Shillings were destroyed. Livelihoods were disrupted, and entire social services systems ground to a halt. Governance structures were dismantled and enforcement of law and order became impossible in some areas in the country.
Since the member churches are based in the community, they were extensively impacted by the violence. Churches were vandalized and/or burned, congregations were dispersed, and ministers were displaced. Worse still, the influence of the Christian community on the lives of the people was diminished and the church was on the verge of becoming irrelevant in the lives of the people.
Internally, the drafting of the 5th Corporate Plan (2009-2013) was completed in readiness for the General Assembly and the Round Table Conference, both expected to be held in August this year.
We, therefore, express deep gratitude to our partners who supported us during this period to accomplish what we did in the search for peace and security in the nation.
The General Secretary, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Council, provides overall leadership to all the Council operations and functions. This mandate is executed through provision of strategic, financial, and administrative oversight.
2. Implemented Activities
The General Secretary provides leadership to the Council through three strands:
A. Facilitation of the governance of the Council
During the reporting period, the General Secretary's Office facilitated and coordinated the governance structures of the Council. Through this, the Office organized meetings, prepared discussion papers and reports, and ensured accurate recording of the proceedings of such meetings. The Office, in addition, was responsible for the implementation of the decisions made in the governance meetings.
During this period, the following governance meetings were held:
i. Executive Committee Meetings
The Executive Committee is mandated to make key decisions for the Council in between the General Assemblies. It is required to meet twice a year, but provision is made for extra ordinary meetings when needs arise. During the reporting period, two Executive Committee Meetings were held:
ii. Finance and Administration Committee Meetings
The FAC is a sub-committee of the Executive Committee which is mandated to give oversight to the financial and administrative operations of the Council. The Finance and Administration Committee met once during the reporting period.
iii. Programme Committee Meetings
The Programme Committee brings together the heads of member churches and organizations and is charged with oversight of the programme work of the Council. During the reporting period, the Programme Committee met twice to deliberate on national concerns in the light of Council's programme work.
iv. Core Group Meeting
In a process started in 2007, the Council continued to develop the 5th Plan (2009 to 2013). A draft of the same was shared with the Core Group in meeting held on 16th April 2008 in preparation for the Round Table Conference expected to be held in August 2008. Comments and recommendations from the discussions with Core Group are being considered in the Draft 5th Corporate Plan in readiness for printing.
v. Responses to the Post Election Violence
The Council began to put measures in place to respond to violence in 2007. As the year progressed, there were signs and indications that some measure of violence would erupt after the elections. However, the magnitude of the violence that erupted after the elections was beyond what was expected.
Thus prior to and after the elections, the following initiatives were undertaken:
Prior to the elections, the Council continued to work with other partners to provide civic as well as electoral education to the people. This was aimed at enhancing the possibility of peaceful, free, and fair elections.
Together with other partners, the Council participated in the Kenya Domestic Observation Forum (KEDOF). A report from the observation programme will be released in the coming reporting period.
Calls for peaceful and fair elections
Both the Programme and Executive Committees spoke to the nation in November and December 2007 urging for measures to be put in place to ensure free and fair peaceful elections. Of note is that the communication from the Council urged for religious leaders to make themselves independent of political entanglements. This was to enable them to be prepared to provide healing to the nation after the elections. Regrettably, this was largely ignored and the Council in February had to apologize on behalf of the church for the lack of leadership during the campaigns and elections.
The Inter Religious Forum
The Council joined with other institutions to form the Inter Religious Forum in March 2007. The Forum variously responded to issues of national concern. With regard to the elections, the Forum made several initiatives:
1. National Prayer Day
2. The Peace Charter
3. Chagua Amani Zuia Noma
Calls for peace and security
As reported above, both the Programme and Executive Committees met, discussed, and issued statements calling for peace and security. In many other forums, the Council was engaged in campaigning for peace among the people and communities. Meetings were held at the local/regional levels to address issues of concern between the conflicting communities.
Solidarity visit by the WCC Living Letters Team
In February 2008, the World Council of Churches dispatched a Living Letters Solidarity visit team to the country. Their aims were to fact find on the post election violence and comfort the Kenyan church. The Council facilitated the team to visit various sites affected by the violence in Nairobi and South Rift regions.
The Living Letters team also visited the key protagonists in the violence, and separately met with the leadership of the Orange Democratic Movement and the Party of National Unity.
A report from the team's findings and recommendations was compiled and shared with the WCC family
Inter Religious Forum:
The Council continued to engage the post election violence through the Inter Religious Forum. Through this, the following were accomplished:
1. Peace Plan Proposal
The IRF developed a Peace Plan Proposal that was shared with the various actors and general public. The proposal arose from a session of scenarios building in which the various possible futures were considered and tabulated.
2. Reaching out to politicians.
The IRF reached out to political leaders to urge the resolution of the crisis and the violence. However, requests to meet President Mwai Kibaki and Hon Raila Odinga (now Prime Minister) were rejected. In addition, the IRF met with the national dialogue mediator, His Excellency Dr Koffi Annan, to share their views on the ways to resolve the crisis. Advocacy for the religious community to be involved in the mediation/negotiations did not bear fruit.
3. National Prayer Day
Concerned about the continuing violence, the Inter Religious Forum on 8th February 2008 organized a National Prayer Day in which the key political leaders were invited. The President attended the prayers but Right Hon Raila Odinga did not.
4. Kenya Thabiti 2008 Task Force
To facilitate informed responses to the violence by the religious community, the IRF established the Kenya Thabiti 2008 Task Force. The objective of the Task Force was to undertake a research that would reveal the real underlying causes of the post election violence. However, financial challenges affected the research, leading to a delay in the release of the final report by the researchers contracted by the Task Force. It is expected to be released in the coming reporting period.
5. NCCK Roadmap for Healing and Reconciliation
On its part, the National Healing and Reconciliation Task Force of the Council developed a five year roadmap for the Council's engagement in the national healing and reconciliation process. One of the elements in the roadmap was the holding of a National Pastors' Conference in August 2008. The objective of the Pastors' Conference was to help the pastors, clergy, and other church leaders reflect on the post election violence, pray together, and map a way forward. Healing of the pastors would allow for their participation in the healing of their members.
vi. Scenarios Building
To help the Council develop strategies and initiatives that would be well informed, three Scenario Building Consultations were held. Three consultations were held, one in December and two in January.
The consultation in December 2007 focused on asking the question: What will happen if any of the presidential candidates win, and what implications will that have on the nation. It was sobering to realize that the post election scenario worked out as earlier discussed.
The consultation in early January focused on defining the post election crisis and determining the best way forward.
The third consultation, this time in late January, carried on from the one in early January and focused on defining the role of NCCK in the various scenarios that could emerge as the crisis progressed.
vii. Preparations for the General Assembly and the National Pastors' Conference
The General Secretary gave critical support to the staff teams organizing the Council's 59th General Assembly which is expected to be held in August 2008. Alongside the General Assembly, the Council will hold a National Pastors' Conference on the theme " . . . And the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
Office of the Deputy General Secretary
During the reporting period, the Deputy General Secretary continued to serve as the principal assistant of the General Secretary. This period was marked by intensified national engagements as a result of the Post Election Violence.
Responding to the Post Election Violence
Soon after Kenyans turned out in very large numbers to vote on 27th December 2007, tensions that had been building up for some time exploded into violence. The Council responded to the violence through various initiatives.
Responses through the Inter Religious Forum
The DGS worked closely with the GS in leadership of the Inter Religious Forum which brought together the following institutions:
• Anglican Church of Kenya
• Evangelical Alliance of Kenya
• Fellowship of Christian Councils in the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa
• Friends Church in Kenya
• Hindu Council of Kenya
• Kenya Episcopal Conference (Catholic Church)
• Methodist Church in Kenya
• National Council of Churches of Kenya
• Organization of Independent Churches-Kenya chapter
• Presbyterian Church in Kenya
• Seventh-day Adventist Church
• Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims
• Young Women's Christian Association
Early in January, the Deputy General Secretary (DGS) was appointed to be the coordinator of the Secretariat that provided logistical support for the Forum's intervention in the post election crisis period. He gave leadership during the development of the Forum's Peace Plan Proposal. During that trying period, the Inter Religious Forum held weekly meetings during which they prepared documents, visited the principal political players, and contributed to the deliberations of all the visiting mediation teams.
After the National Peace Accord was signed, the DGS gave leadership to the decision by the IRF to set up the Kenya Thabiti Task Force 2008, whose purpose was to undertake research on the post election crisis and recommend a roadmap for building a stable nation.
Internal Initiatives by the Council
The DGS was appointed to be part of the National Healing and Reconciliation Task Force established by the Executive Committee in February 2008. The Task Force facilitated self reflections that yielded greater understanding of the issues facing the nation, leading to the development of a five-year Roadmap for Healing and Reconciliation. A key element of the Roadmap is a plan to hold a National Pastors' Conference in August this year.
The Kenya Domestic Observers Forum
During the reporting period, the DGS continued to serve as a co-chair of the Kenya Domestic Observers Forum (KEDOF). The Forum, established in September 2007 to monitor the General Elections, experienced serious challenges before the work was done. Thankfully, the task was carried out and a report from the monitoring exercise is expected in the coming reporting period.
Spiritual formation in the post election period took the form of Bible reflections during the Executive Committee meetings, the National Healing and Reconciliation Task Force meetings, and other meetings held at the regional and national levels. The DGS gave leadership to the preparation of the attendant Bible Study guides. Among the staff, the weekly devotion sessions focused on a study of the life and teachings of Jesus as recorded in the gospel of John. The staff took time to discuss the country's realities using the ministry of Jesus as a basis.
Capacity Building for Membership
The DGS continued to give leadership to the Capacity Building for Membership programme during the period. The activities of the programme are reported in full elsewhere in this report.
Kenya Integrity Forum: Anti-corruption process
The Kenya Integrity Forum held a number of meetings during the reporting period in which the fight against corruption continued to be enhanced. A National Integrity Review Conference is expected to be held in July 2008.
Kenya Uraia Programme
The DGS during the reporting period continued to represent the Council at the Ecumenical Civic Education Programme (Uraia). Uraia made significant contributions to Kenya's post election environment by continuing with civic education on the people's roles as citizens.
Christian Students Leadership Centre
The DGS continued representing the Council on the board of the Christian Students Leadership Centre (Ufungamano House). Several meetings, both at management and sub-committee levels, were held during the reporting period to provide management oversight for the house. Ufungamano House is jointly owned by the Kenya Episcopal Conference and the NCCK.
The interventions by the Council in the post election crisis made a great difference on the nation. Of key note was the boldness of the Council in apologizing to the nation for the negative actions by Christians and more so the church leaders in the period before the elections. This apology made subsequent efforts and intra-Council healing possible and effective. Nonetheless, these interventions had a great toll on the staff of the Council who were greatly exerted.
Capacity Building for Membership (CBM) programme
The objective of the Capacity Building for Membership programme is to facilitate the membership to be effective and efficient in their ministry by promoting and enhancing institutional capacity. It focuses on the following thematic areas:
· Organizational development
· Project management
· Spiritual and ecumenical formation
· Scholarships for needy students
During the reporting period, churches felt the impact of the post election violence in that the harmony that has for long been taken for granted was shaken. It is within that environment that the following activities were implemented:
2. Organizational Development
The CBM through this engagement seeks to:
- Facilitate effective governance and administrative structures and systems within the membership
- Facilitate membership towards the realization of responsible and effective leadership
- Enhance membership capacity in resource mobilization and management
Activities Carried Out
The programme during the review period maintained close relationships with the member churches that were undergoing organizational development processes. Relevant consultations were made to ensure that the initiatives were kept running. The post election violence, however, necessitated other types of emergency responses and most of the scheduled activities in this thematic are were not given the attention they deserved.
To respond to challenges of conflict, each of the zones (Central, Eastern, and Western) organized a course to equip church leaders. The aim of the courses was to deliberate on the nature, structure, dynamics, and management of conflict at different levels. By enhancing the capacities of church personnel in this area, it was expected that the course would contribute towards a common understanding of conflict management and peace building. The role of local community networks was emphasized as one of the strategies to bring about social transformation in the society.
In total, 77 church personnel were trained in these courses, 18 of them were women. Plans of action on local peace networks were developed and periodical follow ups will need to be done as a way of strengthening these networks in an effort to contribute towards peaceful co-existence at community level.
3. Project Management
Through this engagement, the programme seeks to:
- To facilitate skills development within membership in project / program development and management
- To empower membership on effective advocacy
Activities Carried Out
To enable churches to respond to the challenges facing Kenyans due to poverty, disease, and ignorance among others, the programme facilitated three courses (one in each zone) on HIV and AIDS. The zones customized the training to respond to local needs with relevant content and methodologies.
During this course emphasis was put on the role of the church in combating HIV and AIDS by embracing both advocacy and pastoral care to both the infected and the affected. These measures are to be undertaken in a manner that ensures respect for the dignity of all people by recognizing that man is made in the image of God.
A total of 92 church personnel were trained in these courses.
4. Spiritual and Ecumenical Formation
The Council seeks to promote spiritual and ecumenical formation among the member churches and organizations as well as staff so as to:
· Enhance effective holistic and relevant church ministries
· Promote inclusiveness and appreciation of unity in diversity in the membership
This is in appreciation that the church in Kenya plays a critical role in shaping the lives of the citizens and many people look up to the church for direction. It is important to realize that the roles and responsibilities of the church leaders are intertwined with the identity of the church itself.
The programme during the reporting period facilitated a training in the Central Zone in which 26 church leaders attended a seven-day course, "Towards Effective Leadership." The aim of the course was to explore ways of enabling local ministers to be effective by utilizing the inherent skills within themselves and those of their congregations to build ministries that are effective and responsive to the needs of the congregants.
The course made an emphasis on biblical principles of leadership and the role of Christian Education in social transformation. It gave an opportunity for the church ministers to reflect on their personal lives, ministry, and church programmes.
Under the leadership of Deputy General Secretary, the spiritual formation for staff continued during the reporting period. Weekly devotions were held at all NCCK stations with relevant bible study guides and service programmes being prepared.
In addition, relevant bible study guides were prepared for the various training courses and disseminated to the meetings.
5. Scholarships for Needy Students
The programme oversees fundraising and management of various scholarship programmes with the aim of:
- Proving access to education for needy students
- Enabling children with special needs to access education
- Building the capacities of staff within the member churches of the World Council of Churches
The Programme during the reporting period continued to facilitate school fees payments for students in learning institutions.
Under the WCC programme, the programme continued to administer the scholarships for three non-Kenyan students who are currently in Kenya for advanced degree programmes. Four church personnel from Kenya travelled to Mindolo and the US for further studies, while three others were awarded scholarships to study in UK. The programme continues to enhance the capacities of church personnel in areas where they feel they need their personnel to be trained.
The secondary school sponsorship project continued to be administered at the regional level with each region facilitating about 15 students. There were 122 students in secondary schools during the period. In addition to payment of fees, guidance and counseling for these students is facilitated at the regional level which makes it possible to reach all the students.
The secondary school sponsorship project is funded by both the William Budd Fund and the Kassel Fund. The two also continued to support students who are pursuing post secondary school training but don't get high enough grades to join the university.
The programme during the period continued to recommend students under the scholarship who were admitted in the Public Universities to receive full funding under the Higher Education Loans Board.
In partnership with the Stichting Lilliane Foundation, the programme accompanies children with special needs in their search for quality education, social, and cognitive development. The objective of this initiative is to facilitate self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods. After the children acquire vocational education, they are facilitated to initiate income-generating projects. As a way of support, the parents of the children with special needs met during the period under review to share experiences and learn from each other how to cope with the children's needs.
Governance and Social Services
The Governance and Social Services (GSS) Programme is guided by a two-pronged objective: One, "to enhance good governance, democracy, rule of law, accountability, and observance of human rights" and two, "to facilitate churches and communities to identify their needs, acquire necessary resources, and promote social service provision that is holistic, relevant, and self sustaining." The programme fulfills this objective through activities undertaken through various thematic areas. A report of the activities undertaken during the reporting period is contained here under.
2. Peace Building and Conflict Management
At the end of the previous reporting period, the country held the tenth General Elections. The campaigns leading to the elections were marked with heightened tensions and emotions. There were sporadic incidents of violence, but these didn't spread. As a credit to the peacework done by the Council and other players in the past, the voting was done in a largely peaceful environment.
However, soon after the voting, the tension that had been building up for a long period exploded into violence. Initially, there were protests that announcement of the results had been delayed (that was on 28th and 29th December, though the voting was on 27th). On 30th December, the incumbent was declared the winner of the presidential poll, and was speedily sworn in the same day despite claims by the opposition that the results had been manipulated. There resulted an orgy of violence in the major towns of the Rift Valley, Nyanza, Nairobi, and Coast areas. By the following day, the violence took an ethnic angle.
In some areas, however, the violence seemed to have been pre-planned. The dispute about the election results was an excuse for venting out long-standing divisions in the society marked by unresolved issues. These issues included: Land ownership and use; Inequitable distribution of resources; A constitutional framework that does not provide for equitable representation and participation in governance; and, Unemployment among the youth. These issues have over time been reinforced by negative ethnicity resulting in feelings of animosity, fear, mistrust, hostility and hatred among communities.
As a result of the violence, social order was broken down. Nearly everything came to a standstill, and the nation stood on the verge of a civil war. In response, the African Union formed a panel of Eminent African Personalities who got the two leading political parties to negotiate and reach a settlement. Thus in February, the coalition government agreement was signed and subsequently passed by Parliament.
During that tumultuous period, the Council engaged in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation through various activities and initiatives. These are reported on here below.
A total of 38 inter denominational peace meetings were organized around the country bringing together more than 5,300 community leaders. The meetings were aimed at reducing tension and diffusing the violence.
Depending on the local need, the meetings were either for religious leaders alone, or for consultations with the Provincial Administration and the wider civil society, or for the youth. There were also some special meetings for elders from different ethnic groups to help them address the issues of concern between their communities.
In the Central Region, meetings were organized to pacify the youth who during the Post Election Violence were demanding to be taken to the Rift Valley to avenge the deaths and displacement of their tribe-mates.
At the national level, interventions were undertaken through the Inter Religious Forum.
In partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Council organized workshops where members of the community were trained to monitor the welfare of children at the height of the violence. A national Training of Trainers workshop was held that brought together members of the District Coordinating Committees and Council staff, and those trained then rolled it out to the regional level where twelve workshops were held. A total of 92 counselors and 92 monitors were equipped with skills in setting up child friendly spaces, child well-being, and psycho-social support. The counselors and monitors continued to monitor children welfare in the community and the IDP camps by the end of the reporting period.
Another 150 participants were given similar skills but these worked directly under member churches to enable them to monitor the welfare of children within the community.
Child protection project
During the Post Election Violence, children were highly affected. Thousands of them were forced out of school to live in deplorable conditions in church compounds, police stations, school compounds, and other places where their parents and guardians went after displacement. Many of them were separated from their parents and guardians, while others were left to cater for themselves after their parents and close relatives were killed in the violence.
In this context, the Council in partnership with UNICEF developed a child protection initiative which allowed the setting up of a referral mechanism where cases of child abuse and neglect were reported and acted upon. Monitors and counselors who were trained earlier filled out incident forms when such incidents happened.
The project also facilitated the setting up of 50 child-friendly spaces, which were replicated by other community actors and by the end of the review period had increased to 100. Child Friendly Spaces are specific places in the community where children of all ages can go at different times of the day and engage in activities that facilitate healing from trauma experienced during the violence. Such activities include games, drawing, singing, and drama. In Coast and Nairobi regions, the Child Friendly Spaces have been dubbed "Tumaini La Watoto Wetu" (Hope for Our Children).
Although the project went a long way in addressing the needs of children, a lot remained to be done by the end of the reporting period. A preliminary assessment carried out in Molo constituency alone indicated that there were more than 2,000 children living in child-headed households.
Overall, concerted efforts towards healing and reconciliation were yet to begin in earnest among the various stakeholders by the end of the review period. In the coming reporting period, the Council anticipates to have focused activities that recognize the needs of both the perpetrators and the victims. There will be need for processes that bring out both restitution and forgiveness while adequately addressing the underlying root causes of the conflict.
3. Emergency Response
When violence broke out at the beginning of the year, hundreds of thousands of people went into internally displaced persons camps. They required emergency supplies support. Later in March, the IDP camps experienced a new influx as people fleeing their homes due to increasing political tensions when there were delays in the formation of the cabinet. Apart from the Internally Displaced Persons, there were another 180,000 Kenyans living in arid and semi-arid areas who, during this period, required food assistance.
b. Provision of Food and Non Food Items
Through the partnership with Diakonia, the Council received KShs 10 million, which was used to give relief support in North Rift (Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia districts) and Nyanza (Kisii, Kisumu, and Nyamira districts). The regions shared the money 65 percent and 35 percent respectively. In this initiative, a total of 39,158 beneficiaries received firewood, blankets, sugar, bans, rice, jerricans, and salt.
In partnership with the Action by Churches Together (ACT International Kenya Forum) and the Church World Service, the Council worked to provide household kits to vulnerable families in the IDP camps. A total of 549 kits were received and distributed in: Burnt Forest and Kamoi (210); Kitale show ground (75); Kiminini PEFA church camp (68); Sikhendu IDP camp (27); Burnt Forest IDP camp (40); Muchorwe IDP camp (59); Boror IDP camp (60); and Ayub Kinyua (10). Tents of different sizes were also distributed.
In partnership with the Lutheran World Federation, the Council in Western region distributed 500 bags of maize and 125 bags of beans at the Turbo camp and among the displaced persons in Teso district. Household kits were received and distributed at the IDP centres in Sirisia and Chebkai. A total of 5,000 people were reached in this initiative. Churches in other regions donated food to the displaced persons in Coast and Central regions.
With assistance from Terres des Hommes and the churches, the Council in the South Rift and Nairobi regions reached a total of 57,885 persons with assistance. Among these, 667 were provided with medical supplies in the South Rift region. In total, 15,364 children were served with trauma healing services during the period.
c. Needs Assessment In the North Rift Region, the Council together with other actors participated in "Go and See Visits" to the areas affected by the violence. The visits were aimed at creating an environment that would enable the displaced persons to return to their homes. It also gave the actors opportunities to receive firsthand information on the peace situation in these areas thereby enabling them to shape their initiatives appropriately. Since the IDPs and the home communities participated in these visits, they expressed their fears and concerns to each other and also to the government officials present. Apart from these visits, the Council participated in community psychosocial assessments done in collaboration with the Act International Kenya Forum in the four regions most affected by the violence.
Through the various assessments, the following challenges and gaps were noted:
- Unrealistic expectations by communities and IDPs
- Cases of people selling their rations, which were common among people not living in IDP camps
- Increase in the IDPs according to a census conducted by the Red Cross
- Low scale of identification of the displaced persons living outside the camps
- Mothers Living With HIV and AIDS were forced to breastfeed their children since they did not have milk or porridge and had no supplements to give the children
- Increase in the cases of sexually transmitted infections
- Increase in cases of sexual exploitation
- Increase in the number of orphans
4. Women and Children in Stress Project
The project continued to operate successfully in the Central Region. During the reporting period, 28 weekly meetings were held by the benefiting group, whose members continued with their weekly savings. The members received a total of KShs 220,000 from the regional office as loan disbursements, with most having received the maximum amount (KShs 15,000) several times by now and having repaid the money without much strain. They have expressed a wish that more could be disbursed as loans, but the attendant risks and lack of money for that remained a challenge during the period.
5. Refugee Services Programme
During the reporting period, the population of refugees at Dadaab rose to 211,423, the increase being attributed to the increased violence in Somalia. The population at Kakuma refugee camp remained constant.
During the reporting period, the following activities were undertaken.
Reproductive Health and HIV and AIDS
A total of 27 workshops were held reaching 2,400 refugees in both camps. Through other trainings, 72 opinion leaders and 48 women were reached with education regarding HIV and AIDS and other health issues. At the Kakuma camp, 151 women were trained in safe motherhood. At Dadaab camp, 125 members of minority communities were trained in life skills on preventing HIV and AIDS. In addition to this, the camp office organized four visits to the camps by persons living with
HIV and AIDS from Garissa with the aim of having them share their experience so as to reduce stigma in the camps.
Information, Education, and Communication materials were produced that included 500 posters, 450 paper caps, 400 leaflets, 200 bags, 240 t-shirts. These were distributed among the refugees and the host communities at Dadaab. In addition, eleven HIV and AIDS billboards were fabricated and put up in the three camps at Dadaab. At Kakuma, one Bodaboda (cycling) race was organized to create awareness on HIV/AIDS in which 90 cyclists participated. Two hundred poster flags were printed and used by the cyclists and spectators, while 120 t-shirts with HIV and AIDS messages were distributed. The camp office also prepared trophies, banners, and first aid kits for the competition.
Rehabilitation of Commercial Sex Workers
During the reporting period, a consolidation of the existing data on commercial sex workers at Kakuma Refugee Camp was undertaken and, through this, 105 adult and 53 young workers were registered. Another 60 from the host community were included. Vulnerable women (25 groups comprising 192 women) were enrolled and supported with catering services to reduce vulnerability to commercial sex working. Ten groups from the host community also benefited.
Separately, 218 CSWs were trained on measures to reduce risks of HIV infection.
Twenty two peer groups were formed during this period, 17 in the camps and five among the host communities.
Peace Education Programme (PEP)
This programme aims at creating a culture of peace among the refugees and the host communities.
During the reporting period, the following activities were undertaken:
· 240 youth, among them 90 girls, trained in life skills and peace building
· 25 CARE school teachers given refresher courses on Peace Education
· 60 PEP workers given refresher training on Peace Education
· 150 school peer mediators trained and established in schools
· 90 training manuals and 50 Teachers Training Kits developed
· 200 brochures and sports items distributed to students
· 300 youth out of school reached
· 150 PLWD and 75 community leaders reached
· 6 more teachers recruited and trained
During the reporting period, two new training halls were constructed at Dadaab refugee camp. At Kakuma, a new shelter programme was initiated and through that the following were achieved:
· Assessment and compiling of the camp shelter needs
· 131 shelters for new arrivals and families affected by the Laga
· 15 shelters constructed for refugees with special needs
· 75 old dilapidated shelters repaired
· Relocation of Ex – Jamhuri case load (refugees relocated from one block to another) to from KK2 to KK1
· Bush clearing and demarcation of 284 plots for ex – Jamhuri and Dadaab relocation
· Demolition of 4 dilapidated communal shades
· Erection of a profiling and Refugees celebration shades
· Re-demarcation of 119 plots after the camp clean up by GTZ
6. HIV and AIDS
This programme is guided by the following objectives:
i. To contribute to the reduction of stigma and discrimination of persons living with HIV and AIDS
ii. To support orphans and vulnerable children
iii. Mainstream of HIV and AIDS education in church programmes
iv. To improve the quality of life of PLWHA
v. To mitigate the social economic impact of HIV and AIDS
vi. To advocate for accessible, affordable, quality, efficient and sustainable health care for all
During the reporting period, the following activities were undertaken.
One national HIV and AIDS workshop on the theme "Fighting stigma, discrimination and denial" for religious leaders was successfully held. Participants were drawn from the Council membership, with five representatives from each of the nine regions, Council staff and representatives from the Kenya Network for Religious Leaders Living and Affected by HIV and AIDS (KENERELA+). The chief facilitator was Canon Gideon Byamigisha from Uganda, who himself is a living with HIV and AIDS.
Three advocacy meetings were held to resolve challenges facing the engagement of faith based organizations with the National Aids Control Council.
Religious leaders during the period lobbied for the allocation of HIV and AIDS resources from the government and development partners due to their strategic positioning in reaching out to communities.
The period under review witnessed growing mainstreaming of HIV and AIDS in Council programmes. For example, IDPs who disclosed their HIV status were assisted to access anti-retroviral drugs during the provision of psycho-social support and counseling. Further, counselors during the sessions emphasized on the dangers of indiscriminate and casual sex.
Distribution of starter kits for women in stress and those living positively with HIV and AIDS was done with 25 women benefiting.
Mobilization and distribution of food and non-food items to six widow support groups and 27 OVC save centers to alleviate suffering experienced as a result of the post election violence was undertaken.
While implementing the Global Funds in Fighting HIV and AIDS, the Council facilitated community and school outreach activities undertaken in conjunction with local youth groups in Bumala, Mathare, and Huruma areas. The interventions included theatre activities, related performance arts, as well as puppetry, all aimed at increasing awareness on HIV and AIDS. A total of 101 theatre activities were conducted, reaching 16,679 people.
A total of 50 peer educators were reached through two peer education workshops held at Starehe (Nairobi) and Bumala (Western) constituencies. Peer education theatre events continued to be conducted to popularize behavior change.
Two capacity building workshops equipping 70 home-based caregivers drawn from the community health workers and church leaders were conducted during the reporting period.
During the same period, at least 1,009 HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) tests were conducted at the VCT sites while eight post test clubs that have been supporting 389 PLWHA conducted 67 weekly meetings where psycho-social issues affecting them were addressed.
To mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS, 182 families were supported with nutritional supplements, 50 orphans and vulnerable children with school fees payment for their secondary education, and 70 parents and guardians received seed capital for small income-generating activities. The income-generating activities included growing approximately nine acres of amaranth within Bumala.
Through these activities, the following achievements were made:
· Some of the HIV positive IDPs accessed the anti-retroviral drugs
· Youth out of school received reproductive health information
· Some of the churches mainstreamed HIV and AIDS education in their programmes
· Stigma and discrimination issues were addressed
· Nutritional support was facilitated to over 200 PLWHA'S and their families who are members of theNCCK based therapy groups
· 67 group therapy meetings for over 450 PLWHAs within the NCCK project sites have been held regularly (at least twice per week) for the eight groups. Through the group therapy meetings for persons living with HIV and AIDS, there is increased hope and optimism as they collectively share and encourage one another in their daily lives.
· 70 community health workers were equipped with home based care skills
· Persons living with HIV and AIDS (PWLHAS) have been empowered economically through establishment of income-generating activities
· The home based care program has been able to reduce the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS as the caregivers have shown love and care to PLWHAs
· There is increased awareness on HIV and AIDS as the community and youth outreach activities have reached over 16,000 youths in various constituencies with behavior change messages
· There is a significant increase especially among the youth in visiting VCT centers at NCCK Community health center at Bujumba. 1,000 people visited the center during the reporting period. The churches through the clergy have shown great support to the project by giving venues of meetings, providing overall leadership at the community level, and helping in the mobilization of the congregation to participate in the activities. This action has particularly boosted the impact of the activities carried out and the sustainability of the project.
d. Lessons learned
Through the implementation of these activities, the following lessons have emerged:
i. The home based care component has proved to be a key component in restoring hope and encouraging positive living for PLWHA's as it incorporates the counseling and love aspects and the skills transfer to the clients and their caregivers
ii. The participatory peer learning activities approach in schools and communities are creating more impact among the target audience as opposed to the lecture approach
iii. Information sharing is encouraged in the areas of HIV and AIDS interventions in an effort to inform best practices in this area which then informs program planning and design
iv. Group therapy activities are to be encouraged for information and experience sharing as well as for moral support
v. Due to physical and psychological problems that the IDPs were experiencing, some of them found irresponsible sex as the only way to vent/express their anger and disappointment hence the increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV infections
vi. PLWHAs need not be neglected and stigmatized but given necessary care and support especially in times of emergencies
7. Post Election Violence Emergency Reponse
Between January and March 2008, Mathare, Dandora, and Huruma areas were seriously affected by post election violence where scores of deaths and injuries were reported. Clinic operations were affected during the first three months of the year.
In a partnership between NCCK and the MSF (Medecin Sans Frontiers - France), the existing halls were converted into emergency response centers which operated for 24 hours daily.
Patient were treated, counseled and referred for specialized treatment where necessary. The table below summarizes the cases attended to:
# Patients injured
Jan – March
Non Violence related cases
Referred for admission
Source MSF Mathare Emergency Programme
8. Constitution and Legislative Reform
Due to the collapse of law and order occasioned by the Post Election Violence, the Council during the reporting period advocated for resolution of the crisis through a resolution of the underlying issues. The Council, therefore, continued to push for a comprehensive review of the Kenya constitution.
a. Constitution of Kenya Review process
Recognizing that the successful completion of Constitution of Kenya Review process will provide a new constitutional framework for Kenya, the Council advocated for the enactment of the legal framework for the process.
After lengthy negotiations by the National Dialogue Committee, the Prime Minister and the President, two Bills were published on 20th June 2008 to facilitate the review process. These were The Constitution of Kenya Review Bill 2008 and the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2008.
In seeking to ensure that the Constitution review process would allow the participation of all the people, the Council met severally with the Minister for Justice and Constitution Affairs as well as the Parliamentary Committee for Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs to lobby for the creation of an organ of review through which stakeholders other than politicians would be accommodated. It is expected that the Bills will be passed by Parliament in the coming reporting period.
b. Truth Justice and Reconciliation Process
Realizing the importance of having a Truth, Justice, Healing and Reconciliation Commission, the Council advocated for a TJRC bill to be developed and passed by Parliament. By the end of the reporting, there was some progress in this regard. It is expected that Parliament will discuss and pass the TJRC bill in the coming reporting period.
c. Ethnic and Race Relations Commission
Appreciating that the people of Kenya are divided along ethnic lines, the Council during the period continued to lobby for the establishment of an Ethnic and Race Relations Commission. The Commission would have a mandate to coordinate efforts to harmonize the relations between the 40 ethnic communities in Kenya.
9. Ethical Governance and Accountability (Anti-corruption)
During the reporting period, the Council trained 190 Civic Education Facilitators on decentralized funds in Western, Central, Lower and Upper Eastern regions. The CEFs are expected to hold accountability forums in the coming reporting period. The accountability forums have proved important in helping people at the local level to understand the decentralized funds and how they are used.
This need has arisen in recognition of the fact that the government has, over the past few years, introduced several devolved funds that are administered at the constituency and country council levels. However, these funds have failed to stimulate growth or to fight poverty as the public has little or no awareness on their mandate, purpose, scope, functions, and operation procedures. In many cases, communities are not involved in the identification of projects or decision-making, monitoring, and evaluation. This has resulted in high levels of waste and misappropriation of the funds.
During the previous reporting period, the Council undertook a survey in Turkana, Marakwet, and West Pokot districts to understand the factors that hinder accessibility of education by the pastoral communities living there. Thereafter, a programme was developed to address the issues identified in the survey, namely; long distances between the schools and home, ethnic conflict, inadequate schools, and early marriages. The programme, called Pastoralist Education Programme, is supported by Edukans Foundation.
During the reporting period, the PEP developed information, education, and communication materials and disseminated the same in the districts. In addition, 50 Pastoralist education facilitators were trained. The Facilitators held community and School Management Committee meetings with an intention of improving enrollment rates at primary and Early Childhood Centers. They also sought to promote improvements in the management of schools.
In addition to this, several meetings were held with Ministry of education officials to lobby for the recruitment of teachers to reduce the teacher students' ratio. Separately, the Council continued to monitor and evaluate the Free Primary and Free Secondary Education Programmes. A key activity during the period was lobbying for a reduction of the teacher student's ratio through employment of at least 50,000 additional teachers. The Council has also called for the improvement of infrastructure in schools.